Sharables – Testimony
Eric Jeffrey | Children’s Director
In January of 2002, I made a conscious decision to let Christ take over my life and be my Lord and Savior. This is the testimony of the work the Holy Spirit did before that day.
I grew up in the Catholic Church, I went to Catholic school, I was an altar boy, and my parents were active in the school and the church. I participated in all the sacraments – baptism, communion, first communion, first confession, and confirmation. Let me be clear, I was a willing participant in these activities, but mostly because my parents and the church told me this is what I was supposed to do, so I did.
Going to Catholic school and church, I was taught many things about God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus; however, it was taught from a catechism book, not the Holy Bible. I never saw a Bible in church or school, we had one at home, but I believe it was hidden, and we never opened it. I remember exactly what it looked like to this day. The thing I took away from the experience with church, looking back, was that if you do this, this, and this you will be forgiven and go to Heaven when it is time. I was never taught salvation through Jesus Christ being the only way to Heaven. In retrospect, though, I believe it was the foundation of a greater work God was going to do.
In eighth grade, my family moved from the city of Detroit to the suburbs of Novi. My parents connected with the local Catholic church, and we continued our weekly visitations to church. As most teens do, I became self-aware that I am my own person and began to question all authority – parental, educational, and spiritual. At some point, I do not remember exactly when my parents informed me that when I turn 16 that it would be my responsibility to get to church since I could drive and hold down a job. So when I hit the age of accountability, I stopped going to church except on Christmas and Easter. This was only to appease my parents.
After that, I soon began to explore drugs and alcohol and began a serious relationship with both. For many years I abused all kinds of drugs and decided alcohol was not my thing. My drug use was habitual and constant. I did it responsibly (sounds weird) by going to school and holding down various jobs to support my habit. Later on, I married, and even sooner I was divorced because I wanted my relationship with drugs more than anything. The ink on the divorce papers was not even dry before I was abusing more than ever. All the while I can remember thinking about God from time to time and thinking, “I am a good person, I have not killed anyone plus I am Catholic.”
Then I began a relationship with my current wife, Diane, of 17 years. I am not sure what she saw in me but, we became an item. I continued my drug use; then I had some sort of revelation. This lifestyle is getting me nowhere. With the encouragement of Diane (wife now), I quit drugs. I began to pursue higher education, landed a new career, and boom I was on my way. One thing, though, I still did not feel right in some unexplainable way. We moved onto a lake and built a house together and got married in it. The accomplishment of building your house was a great experience, but still, something was missing.
After we had settled into the new house, a man that lived kitty corner from us came over and introduced himself. He would be the man that would lead me to Christ. His name was Jack Russell. This was soon after the events of September 11, 2001. He began to witness to me regularly, and I would say to him, “I am good. I am Catholic. I got it covered.” We played floor hockey together so he would drive us to and from and use it as an opportunity witness and invite me to his church. I spoke to my wife about going, and she was in agreement, so we went to Faith Baptist Church. I went and enjoyed the speaking of the pastor (Pastor Jim). Soon after we joined a Bible study seven steps to joy, taught by Jack because I felt the need to learn the Bible, not religion. After about the second or third lesson, I felt so lost. I was just not getting it. I was reading the lessons and doing the questions, but I just did not get it. I wanted to, but it seemed like I could not grasp it. Jack shared some Scriptures with me. 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 2:8-9, and the power of God’s Holy Word began to penetrate my spirit and changed me from the inside out. Jack continued relentlessly to pound me with God’s Word full of truth and love. On January 13, 2002, I bent my knee on the steps in the auditorium at Faith Baptist Church and asked Christ to enter my life and thankfully I was never the same. The odd thing about that day was that I told Jack during the week that I would come to church Sunday and make a profession of faith. In my mind, I was thinking, “I will have to do this (profess Christ) just to get this guy off my back about Jesus.” The Lord truly works in mysterious ways.
Today I have the privilege of teaching kids the Word of God at the same church where I gave my life to Christ. I am thankful for the people God placed in my life that encouraged me to make a decision to follow Christ. This is the testimony of Jesus Christ’s work in the life of this man, Eric M Jeffrey.